Electric Cars: The Buzz Is Favorable
I don't know anyone who would be foolish enough to buy an El-Jet, Consequento, Tropica, Electricar pickup, or even the Ecostar ("Electric cars," Cover Story, May 30).
We must first rid California of all cars over 15 years old and run emission tests each year after a car reaches five years. See what these results bring before trying this asinine requirement for electric cars in 1998.
Newbury Park, Calif.
Your article was an interesting saga of the difficulty of covering any distance with electric cars, but it seemed to miss the point. What prevents battery-powered electric cars from being immediately practical is not any technological problem. It is only a lack of service
All we have to do is design electric cars with quickly interchangeable battery packs. Gasoline stations, renamed "electricity stations," could swap batteries in less time than it takes to fill a tank.
Service station networks would own the batteries, and the cost of the battery divided by its expected lifetime would be factored into the watt-hour charge for the battery swap.
Look in the attic (or basement) for a copy of Tom Swift and his Electric Runabout: Or the Speediest Car on the Road, which was published some 80 years ago.
It's all there. Thomas Swift of Shopton, N.Y., was years ahead of us all.
Richard N. Morgan
The hybrid car would cost much less than an electric car. The combustion engine can be an enlarged turbocharger delivering 20 kw at constant speed and will run clean on liquefied gas. California's utopian search for the 100% clean car has carmakers barking up the wrong tree, and as a result, even less research and development has been done on the hybrid.
Andre R. Teissier-duCros